Recently I spoke in a Pension Scheme Bill Debate in the House of Commons to make the case for greater protections for changes of guaranteed income occupational pensions. The debate considered proposed changes to the legislation governing the way occupational pension schemes can convert guaranteed minimum pensions into other types of schemes, that might be on less favourable terms.
I attended the debate to speak about the importance of gender equality in workplace pension changes, highlighting that equal pay must also mean equal pensions. I also spoke on the importance of securing protection against changes to employment related pensions calculations when pension schemes are converted from one scheme into another.
I brought up a surgery case where a resident had an occupational pension with a specific minimum payment but, when it was converted into another scheme, that minimum payment element was removed. The matter had been referred to the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Conduct Authority without success.
In the House of Commons, I said:
“…There needs to be even greater focus on securing the best possible protection for any changes to pension calculations before they become due.”
“…There seems, however, still to be a gap in pensions protection that leaves individuals such as my constituent rightly angry.
“…any such changes to pension rights must have at their heart equity and fairness.”
Many people rely on certainty of fixed and minimum income guaranteed pensions when making their plans for retirement and later life. This was an important debate to raise concerns with the Minister about the adequacy of the safeguards for conversion of pensions between schemes.